I first visited the Lavender fields at The Hop Shop, Lullingstone, Kent, three years ago after hitting Google in search of where I could find a sea of purple as seen on my Instagram feed.
I couldn’t believe my luck that there was actually a lavender farm right under my nose here in Kent, and The Hop Shop at Castle Farm has become one of my favourite summer destinations ever since.
The Hop Shop is located in Lullingstone, near Eynsford at Castle farm, in close proximity to Lullingstone country park and Eagle Heights. As you approach, the scene of seas of purple is something quite breathtaking, that gets more amazing each year. A photo doesn’t do it justice and this is something you simply have to experience first hand – the smell is incredible.
Access to the fields is strictly controlled to protect the crops as this is a working farm, however there is a car park and a free to access viewing area which this year has been modified to include a picturesque fence and bench to make the perfect photo opportunity.
If you really want to get deep in the lavender, you can pay to book onto a guided tour, or arrange a photography session with the Hop shop. The weather can’t be predicted of course, but even on a dull day the fields look spectacular. Last year the Mouse and I went without Tigs, as we had to grab a moment before the fields were gone (check the website – it comes around quick!).
Another unique way to experience the lavender is to have an aromatherapy massage, in the field; something I have ALWAYS wanted to do – but be warned these sell out and unless you booked back in February, there’s no chance of a late booking.
Also on site is a gorgeous shop and pack house selling lavender products and local goods – a favourite of mine is the lavender honey and the sleepy tea. Plus of course we always bring home a bunch of freshly cut lavender that sits in a jug all year long.
As well as the shop there is a coffee shop in the most picturesque setting, somewhere to sit and take it all in.
And of course the farm itself is in the most beautiful surroundings – a place I have captured some of my favourite images of the girls to date.
Lullingstone country park nearby is well worth a visit if you’re heading over, and again some gorgeous country views and photography backdrops can be discovered there.
I know we’ll be continuing to visit Castle Farm for many years to come – it’s a place really special to us as a family and when three year old Tigs saw it for the first time, she was drawing purple lavender fields for months on end. I guess that speaks volumes about what an impact the place had on her too.